REWORK2 (added vignette)



Specific Feedback Requested

This is a bit of an oddball picture. What I like about it is the ambiguity – what is above the surface, what is below the surface, and what is reflected on the surface. I have called the image “Ghosts” because this spot felt to me like a burial ground. This whole lake region had been flooded a hundred years ago. What we see protruding above the surface is what is left of a tree that kept its head above water. And then there are all the reflections that seem to me like disembodied spirits. I would love to know your impressions on viewing this picture. Is the haunting, ghost-like presence there for you or is there something else entirely that captures your attention. Inquiring minds want to know :thinking:.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No


Kerry, I do feel the ghostly ambiance of the image. I particularly enjoy the color palette subsurface. Nice image.

Hi Kerry,
I really like this one and the all idea behind it.
I can fell the ambiguity, as well the “mysticism” you mention.

One small nit, is the fact the tip of the dead tree almost fading into the background. A little more separation would, visually, feel better.
Definitely a good picture.

It’s been years since I did something like this, but I know what you mean about a stand of dead trees seeming like ghosts. Beaver ponds are the usual culprits that I’ve seen and while it is a natural process and entirely normal, humans can see it as sad. I think our connection to trees is very strong and we sometimes project our emotions onto them. I know I do. While hiking I’ll often stop and just touch a tree. When paddling I often rest by old snags and take in the tiny world of life that sometimes develops on them.

Keeping this image lighter in contrast and color preserves the mystical feeling you’re going for. I like the controlled reflections as well. I wish for more separation of the tip of the trunk and the background and if you couldn’t get it in the field, you might be able to with using the paint color technique in Photoshop. I recently used it in my first contribution to the weekly theme. Maybe experiment. Even if you don’t, this is a successful image and I like it a lot.

Hey Kerry, I like where you went with this image. Ghosts really applies. Wonderfully seen and presented. Not sure if you’re a fan, but this image looks pretty good in B&W with an increase in contrast. I think it brings out more of the ghostly aspects.

Nicely done.


Great eye and vision on this one - and thanks for the back story. Agree with the “ghost” theme and this does show well both the reflected and transparent, sub-surface details. Very intriguing.

Personally, I see to have the hardest time with greens-yellow-greens both in viewing (except above ground trees/grasses/flowers, etc…) and in processing these colors. I think maybe I’d think the b&w would work well as suggested, but I didn’t try it.

Well seen and captured


Oooh, I love it - my kind of photo. The ghosts are definitely there for me. And the idea is accentuated by the reflection of the shoreline, which looks like clouds - the ghosts are descending from the heavens. I might dial back the saturation of the greens and yellows some, if you want to have a more “ghostly” feel. I don’t think b&w would work well here because the reflections of the trees don’t have enough detail to make them convincingly (former) trees. In color, the reddish tone of the reflections matches the tone of the remaining stump, so we know what they are.

I can definitely get a haunting feeling from this photo. The reflection of the tree trunks does have a ghost-like presence. This photo almost looks like a painting. Maybe for the tip of the tree, you can create a little more separation from the background. Overall, I love this composition. I can see it hanging on a wall.

@Mario_Cornacchione - Thanks Mario, your feedback is much appreciated.
@joaoquintela - Thanks, as always, Joao. I have tried for a little more separation in the rework above. Better?
@Kris_Smith - Thanks for sharing, Kristen. While we were on our trip one of the books I was reading was “Finding the Mother Tree” by Suzanne Simard. A truly remarkable book. If you haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it highly enough. One of her main points, and this coming from a renowned and highly regarded professor of forest ecology , is that the intelligence we perceive in trees is not merely projection. Intelligence, as seen for example, both in forests and mycelium, does not in the least, require a brain. I did try and create more separation between the tip of the trunk and the background. You can check that out in the Rework above. Better?
@David_Bostock - As always, David, much thanks for your feedback. Originally, I did give monochrome a quick look but found I couldn’t get the kind of differentiation in tone and the image went kind of flat. But you might notice in the Rework that I did bring the saturation down quite a bit.
@Lon_Overacker - Thanks for your feedback, Lon, much appreciated. For reasons I shared with David B., I wasn’t happy with B&W for this one but if you check out the Reword you’ll notice that I did bring down the saturation as suggested by Bonnie. I think it is an improvement.
@Bonnie_Lampley - Thanks so much, Bonnie. I had a feeling you might get this one. Some of your photographs have inspired me to try more of this kind of intimate landscape scene that try to get below the surface of things - in this case literally but also metaphorically. I agree with you on the B&W for the reasons you stated - I did originally give it a try. I did a Rework above where I did dial down the saturation. What do you think - more, less, just right?
@erica Thanks so much for your feedback, Erica. As you can probably see in the Rework, I did try for more differentiation between the tip of the trunk and background and I think it improves things a bit.

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Yup, the texture on the stump is more pronounced, so I like it. You took the saturation down as well and while I do miss the extra color, I think the subdued palette suits the subject better. Nice.

Oh and an article on possible fungi communication -

@Kris_Smith - The book to read on mushrooms/mycelium is “Entangled Life” by Merlin Sheldrake - brilliant!

Oh if only I could get through it. Several people have recommended it and I had a library copy and just couldn’t finish. Too navel-gazey for me. I preferred Mycophilia by Eugenia Bone.

The repost looks fantastic, Kerry. I understand about the B&W, it does take some of the separation out of the image.

Neat image, and your title conveys its essence quite nicely. My only thought might be to add a vignette that’s a bit more prominent. It might even add to the ghostly character of the reflected trees.

@Tony_Kuyper - Thanks, Tony. I’ve posted Rework2 with added vignette. Is this what you had in mind.